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Favorite Find Friday: Nude Skincare Purify Toning Water

Written on January 3, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

When it comes to my nightly skincare routine, I have one goal: get it done as quickly as possible so I can hit the sack. So when I attempt to add new products into the mix, they never last very long because I get tired of the extra step…until I was introduced to Nude Skincare Purify Toning Water ($26, sephora.com). Toners remove excess oil and dead skin cells that may be left behind after washing. You simply put a few drops on a cotton ball and swipe it across your face and neck then follow up with your moisturizer or night cream. It is formulated with natural ingredients, like cinnamon, ginger and burnet root to help purify your pores and balance oil production. I have not only seen improvement in the tone of my skin but I’ve also noticed my skin looks smoother and gets less oily. Well done, toner, you have officially landed a permanent spot in my highly coveted nightly skincare routine.

—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45

Written on November 1, 2013 at 11:51 am , by

I know everyone claims this, but my skin is super sensitive so I’m careful with my makeup routine as to not disturb—what I like to call—the red-faced monster. That’s why I love when skincare companies venture into color because you get the best of both worlds. After some trial and error, I found the perfect match for my skin came in a pretty gold tube labeled Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm with SPF 45 ($39, sephora.com). Its airy texture glides on so smoothly, you can barely feel it, yet it provides enough coverage to mask imperfections. Plus, it has a high level of broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection (a must). I apply it every morning, and especially when I ski because it protects my face from the glare of the sun on the slopes (yet I still look like a fresh-faced snow bunny when I take a break in the lodge with my friends!).

—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask

Written on October 25, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Winter is right around the corner and I can already feel my skin cringing at thought of the harsh elements. So when I saw the Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask ($130, Fresh.com) I couldn’t help wanting to slather in on my face ASAP. This luxe pot of sweet goodness, which contains two and a half tablespoons of pure honey, melts into skin to deliver up to six hours (according to the company) of nourishment. It’s also packed with Echinacea extract, which helps improve skin’s resilience to environmental aggressors like pollution and smog (a big plus for big city dwellers!). While I’m leery of thick masks due to my oily, acne-prone skin, this one didn’t clog my pores or trigger a breakout, since honey is actually a natural antibiotic and works to pull out dirt and grime while also healing existing acne marks. Before bed, I smooth it over cleansed, damp skin and leave it on for ten minutes before rinsing with warm water. I wake up with a radiant glow. Warning: the mask’s super-sweet honey fragrance may cause a midnight snack craving!

Stacy London’s Tips for Triumphing Psoriasis

Written on October 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Photo Courtesy of Stacy London

You probably know Stacy London as the vivacious stylist on TLC’s hit show, What Not to Wear (the series finale aired this past Friday). But what you may not know is what drew London to the fashion industry in the first place. Turns out, she’s been battling a chronic autoimmune and skin disease—psoriasis—for the majority of her life and found comfort in sparkly, shiny pieces. Here, she opens up about her struggles with psoriasis and the ways in which she’s helping others also affected by it with the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign, which features educational resources, style advice and a dermatologist finder for the estimated 7.5 million American men and women living with psoriasis. Bonus: she spills on her best beauty tips and recent hair change, too.

Tell us about your experience with psoriasis and how it’s affected your life?
“I was diagnosed when I was four, so it’s been in my life my whole life. As much as people know me for something completely different, it is very much a part of my identity. You know, the heartbreak of psoriasis is a well-known thing. Being diagnosed at the age of four, I really didn’t understand what was happening. I just knew there was something wrong with me because I had these bumps on the back of my ears. So it started as something that made me feel weird and certainly made me feel different than other kids. That is definitely something I started to internalize very early. As I got older, my skin got worse and by the time I was 11, I was basically covered from the neck down in red scales and it was a much harder time because at that age, I was conscious of what I looked like. I had very severe scalp psoriasis so I had to cut off all my hair. So here I was, a little girl with a crew cut wearing turtlenecks and long corduroy pants even in the summer just to hide. That’s when that feeling of really being different and having children and adults react badly to me, that I really started to suffer from it. You know psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It takes consistent and constant management but also, it’s emotionally devastating. I think that definitely drew me to fashion. Because, feeling sort of like a monster, I wanted all things pretty and sparkly and shiny and perfect and what better place than fashion to find that? I can say now, I don’t think I thought that consciously at the time. It’s sort of a compensatory desire that I didn’t feel good about myself and my self esteem was very low that I gravitated to something that I thought would certainly make me feel better. But when I wrote about psoriasis in my book, the biggest thing for me and that I really empathize with is that you kind of give up when you have psoriasis and the idea that you are ruled by a disease rather than you having control over it. The idea specifically was to manifest this concept of empowerment by creating a style guide that is specific to people who may not care about showing off their psoriasis or may be looking to cover up their skin but to feel relevant and not necessarily trendy but modern and feel like they’re participating in the same fashion trends that other people are. So it’s a great topical guide to what’s going on with an eye on making sure you’re paying attention to materials that could irritate your skin or the length of a skirt that may be more appropriate if you want to cover your leg a little bit more; things through the lense of someone who has experienced psoriasis themselves and wanted style, not just to hide in but to feel beautiful in. Because I think I spent my childhood hiding in turtlenecks and long corduroys and really I wish I had known to use style to feel better not just as armor.”

Tell us more about the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign? 
“It consists of the style guide, one, but it also consists of the dermatologist finder which is about taking control. You know I have been in the care of many dermatologists for over 40 years and it took me a long time to realize that not all dermatologists specialize in psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease and an autoimmune disease. So it’s a much more complex situation. Part of getting the right kind of treatment is to see the right kind of doctor and dermatologist specifically. So one of the things we wanted to do was to help people find the right kind of dermatologist. Part of that idea is that we are asking you instead of learning helplessness, to learn hope and to embrace the idea that just because you may think somebody couldn’t help you the first time you went to visit a dermatologist, that doesn’t mean you saw the right one. The same thing with thinking about your style, like you can’t wear black because God forbid you have scalp psoriasis and it’s going to look like a snow storm hit your shoulders. The campaign offers ways in which to deal with these kinds of things instead of feeling like you have to give up; accepting the situation and then building creatively both your style and, in the process, creating more self-confidence.

Switching gears to beauty. How has the disease affected your beauty routine?
“It’s funny, you know I talk about covering up, and beauty plays such a significant part. It’s kind of ironic because you feel anything but beautiful with psoriasis. For me, one of the things I learned very early on is that I needed to get some sun. As long as I got a little bit of sun, it really improved my skin and my mood. I found that moisturizing creams were not as good as oils. Oils absorb into the skin better, especially when you’ve got really, really dried plaques that can crack and bleed. The other thing is just moisture, period. In the winter, especially when you have dry heat, humidifiers have been essential to me. It’s super important. Since it’s an autoimmune disease, there are other things that you can do just besides the moisture. You need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, that you’re eating properly; you need to exercise; you need to think holistically about your whole body.”

Do you have beauty products that help you feel confident when you’re having a bad day?
“Two favorites: Antonia Burrell Natural Glow Cleansing Oil ($102, beautyhabit.com) and Radiant Light Serum ($98, beautyhabit.com). If I look super ruddy or flaky, it has worked miracles for me in terms of evening my skintone. The other thing I think is really important with psoriasis is it gets very red. So I recommend using a green tinted concealer to cut the red and then put your foundation over it. I find if I wear anything too orange-y, like an orange-y red lip, that makes my skin look even redder so I tend to go for blue-red tones if I’m going for a red lip. I will say at the moment I’ve been jonesing for By Terry lipsticks (prices vary, beautybar.com). The colors are so saturated and glorious. And I do love Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Liquid Blush ($39, giorgioarmanibeauty.com) in the peach shade, #3. It makes you look like your glowing from the outside in.”

Photo Credit: Instagram @ritahazan

You’ve recently made a major hair change, debuting lighter ends. Can we discuss?
“I cannot believe that this has taken hold like it has! I mean, do people know that Syria is happening? I’ve gotten really lovely notes like ‘Bravo!’ and then all these people are like, ‘What’s wrong with you? You’re going through a mid-life crisis.’ I’m telling you right here, right now, you have the exclusive: one, that picture is an Instagram picture. If you’ve heard, there are filters so it looks a little crazier in that picture than it actually is. Number two, I am having a mid-life renaissance and that is why I’m like, ‘It’s time for a change, why not?’”

Dove Helps Girls Feel Unstoppable

Written on September 30, 2013 at 10:46 am , by

As women, we know the power of a confidence boost, whether it’s receiving a compliment on your new haircut or the rush you feel after dominating your morning run. But for some young girls, feeling confident doesn’t come easy, especially during those tough adolescent years. In fact, 6 out of 10 girls stop doing what they love because of anxiety about their looks. That’s why Dove is reaching out to the next generation of women with the “Let’s Make Girls Unstoppable” program to empower girls and inspire killer confidence.

As part of the program, Dove is kicking off their 4th Annual “Self-Esteem Weekend” on October 3rd through October 6th for girls in New York City. The weekend will include workshops lead by Self-Esteem Ambassador, Jess Weiner, an inspiring mix of songs from DJ Diamond Kuts and a custom menu from a top young chef, Kid Chef Eliana. For more information on the NYC event, click here.

Dove is also launching their first-ever limited edition “Confidence is Beautiful” Self-Esteem product collection (including the classic, moisturizing formulas of bar soap, body wash and deodorant we love) available exclusively at Walmart stores this September, which supports self-esteem programming for Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Girls Inc. to make sure they reach at least 15 million girls by the year 2015. If you are not in the NYC area, you can find your local self-esteem workshop at www.dove.com/girlsunstoppable.com. Confidence is contagious; so let’s help pass it around!

 

—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Scrub

Written on September 27, 2013 at 11:01 am , by

Once a month, I see my derm for a glycolic peel to keep my skin looking glowy and to help keep acne at bay. He swabs the concentrated gel on my face and after just a few minutes, my skin looks refreshed and feels baby soft. So that got me thinking— maybe I should care for the skin on my body in the same way as I care for the skin on my face. Enter: Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Scrub ($42, caneandaustin.com). With a 10% concentration of glycolic and gentle micro-beads, this super scrubber exfoliates on a chemical and a physical level. I keep it in my shower, massage it into my arms and legs in a circular motion and then let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. The rough patches on my elbows and knees are instantly smoother and my skin in general looks brighter. Insider tip: if you’re like me and occasionally like to dabble with self-tanner, this product doubles as a great prep before application or as an eraser to help blend noticeable streaks.

Co-Founder of Flywheel, Ruth Zukerman, Shares Her Fitness & Beauty Secrets

Written on September 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm , by

Photo courtesy of Zukerman

Ruth Zukerman, a leading fitness instructor for over 25 years, values health and wellness in her personal life but loves to share it with others even more. In 2006, she co-founded the popular indoor cycling studio Flywheel, which now has 24 locations nationwide and is rapidly growing. Her latest adventure: teaming up with the classic skincare brand Olay to spread the word about beauty and wellness to the fitness world. We stole a few minutes with her to chat about two of our favorite things: Spinning and beauty.

What interested you in teaming up with Olay?
“Basically, I was introduced to several of their products, particularly the Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash ($6, olay.com). It’s an amazing product for anyone in fitness because it’s so moisturizing and there’s a longterm effect. There are a lot of days where I shower two to three times and I always worry, especially as I get older, about dry skin and the toll it takes on your skin when you take a lot of showers. I use it now exclusively and it’s just kept my skin looking great. It makes my skin glow and it smells amazing.”

How do you incorporate wellness into your life through beauty?
“Well, I would say first and foremost, I’m pretty simple when it comes to that and it’s about looking healthy, feeling clean and  not wearing a lot of makeup in class. I wear waterproof mascara and some lip-gloss and once in a while, maybe in the winter, an oil-free foundation. That much is fine when you sweat because you do sweat so much in class. And I just really like to keep the look natural.”

Do you have any tips for getting out of the locker room fast post-workout?
“If you can shower quickly, I would recommend using the Ultra Moisture Body Wash because it’s a two-in-one thing since you don’t have to take the time to apply moisturizer afterwards. Aside from that, maybe spray in some dry shampoo to give hair a fresh look. During the workout, most of our riders wear either a bandana or we have sparkly headbands that we sell at our studios that look great and keep the hair away from your face. What I always recommend in terms of low maintenance is putting your hair back so it’s out of your face and then after class, taking your hair down and you can sort of blow dry around the hair line and it really preserves your hair.”

What beauty trends are you seeing all the active women rock in your studios?
“The ponytail is probably the most popular style and as I said, it looks great with those glittery headbands or sparkly bands. Braids are pretty big right now and I notice that a lot of our Boca and Miami instructors wear their hair in braids with a bandana and it looks amazing. It’s a great way to keep the hair away from your neck when you’re sweating so much.”

Do you have any post-workout must-haves?
“I would have to say the Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths ($7, olay.com) because they’re so quick and easy, especially if I don’t have time to shower, I just head to the bathroom and give my face a quick wipe down and I feel good.”

Pro Waxing Secrets and How Hair Removal Affects Your Workout

Written on September 17, 2013 at 10:24 am , by

Ever wonder how your wax might be affecting your workouts, or vice versa? Us, too. So we tapped Noemi Grupenmager, Founder and CEO of Uni K wax centers (with locations in California, Florida and New York) to get the scoop on how your hair removal habits and your hustle in the gym are related. Below, she spills some of her best waxing secrets as well as offers tips to help you get your sweat on while still maintaining soft and smooth skin.

For an athlete or someone who enjoys working out, what are the benefits of waxing over shaving?
“A big plus is that waxing is safer than shaving and will help you avoid the daily risk of nicks, cuts, ingrown hair and razor burn that can irritate you while you’re working out and wearing tight clothing. Waxing removes hair below skin level making it a fairly long-lasting method of hair removal. Results can last from three to six weeks, which is ideal for those of us who swim regularly, or want to save time in the shower after a workout.”

Should you refrain from certain workouts like cycling or Spin class after a Brazilian or bikini wax?
“With the right wax, you can enjoy any workout without a worry. I have my own trick to ensure clients can go straight to the gym after their service. Uni K uses an all-natural elastic wax made for sensitive areas and after the elastic wax is removed, we apply an individual ice pack, which closes the pores quickly to minimize any redness or irritation. We then apply a gel made from cool and calming cucumber, chamomile and calendula extract to comfort, refresh and hydrate the waxed area. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, prepping your skin to feel even better and more ready for a workout (or the beach, etc.) than when you walked in! If you don’t have access to Uni K, simulate these treatments on your own by bringing a cold pack and a cucumber-rich moisturizer to use post-wax. It’s important to note that hard wax or strip wax can irritate the skin more than elastic wax, so if you do feel uncomfortable after using those types of waxes, opt for a workout that doesn’t stress the bikini area and start spin class again the next day.”

Can swimming—in the pool or ocean—post-wax cause irritation?
“Typically you can go swimming and not experience any post-wax irritation. The secret is to apply wax at body temperature so it doesn’t burn or aggravate the skin. This calms and gently opens pores, and using the cold pack described above closes them again, so you’re no more vulnerable to irritants in the water like chlorine or salt. Just be mindful that tight swimsuits can increase the likelihood of an ingrown hair.”

I was just going to ask, can tight leggings cause ingrown hairs? If so, how can you treat or avoid them?
“If you wax regularly, you will have a slim chance of getting an ingrown hair. However, tight clothes, like workout leggings compress the hair against your body most of the time, and the chances of getting an ingrown hair increase. Don’t stay in your wet swimsuit or sweaty leggings longer than necessary after your workout. Exfoliating regularly will help to diminish your chance of getting an ingrown hair. I do recommend avoiding exfoliating one to two days before and after you wax because the wax will exfoliate your skin while removing unwanted hair. If you do experience ingrown hairs, try a gel formulated to gently exfoliate, like Uni K Ingrown Hair Roll-On ($22, unikwax.com).”

Often after any type of facial wax (eyebrows, lip, chin, etc.) and a workout, a breakout ensues. Is there any way to avoid post-wax zits?
“To minimize breakouts, choose a wax that is not hot, contains no chemicals, is gentle on the skin and does not cause discomfort. It’s also important to hydrate with plenty of water and moisturizers before and between waxing to achieve a better hair removal result and reduce any irritation. Avoid applying retinol products to skin 24-48 hours before facial waxing. Retinol is the purest form of Vitamin A, and while it’s a great ingredient for treating adult acne, it’s extremely potent and even applying a thin layer makes skin more sensitive and prone to redness and irritation.”

If you wax your underarms, is it okay to use deodorant immediately? 
“Yes, it is okay to use a deodorant after waxing as long as the deodorant itself is not irritating for you. When considering what type of deodorant to use, it is always better to use bars and roll-ons over sprays, as sprays tend to be more harsh and difficult to control during application. Try to choose products that contain natural ingredients and skin soothers (like aloe, chamomile, cucumber, etc.) without synthetic fragrances which can be irritating to some people.”

Seafood—the Latest Cellulite Smoother?

Written on July 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm , by

Photo Courtesy of DERMADoctor.

Most women—regardless of their shape or size—are susceptible to dreaded, dimply cellulite. In fact, 95% of women have it (yep, even skinny chicks), so it’s a universal issue. We recently turned to DERMADoctor founder and board certified dermatologist, Dr. Audrey Kunin, to find out about the latest breakthrough in cellulite treatment as well as her best tips for looking hotter than ever this summer.

Tell us about the unique technology behind DERMADoctor Shrinking Beauty. 
“I was inspired by how lobsters lose weight. In order to shed their shells so they can get larger, they need to get skinny to wiggle free of their shell. But they don’t know how to eat less or go swim laps. So, they have the ability to make a hormone, which revs up their fat metabolism, and it physically squeezes those fat cells down. Like deflating a water balloon, all the filler-fat comes out of the fat cells, and I was really intrigued by that because one of the causes of cellulite is that the fat puffs up higher into the skin where it doesn’t belong because we lose the collagen barrier that keeps the fat where it should be. That happens because of female hormones, and it becomes more noticeable with the aging process as we lose collagen. So when you look at what’s out there on the market with cellulite products, they tend to be caffeine and water-based, which is just a temporary, fluid reducer and de-puffer. But, what we really need to do is get those fat cells to get smaller and go back where they belong. So Shrinking Beauty ($58, dermadoctor.com) targets both the fat cells as well as rebuilds that collagen barrier. I was able to replicate the hormone that lobsters make, so it’s shellfish free and I didn’t hurt any lobsters, but I basically replicated that hormone.” [I just started using this cream and after slathering it on for just a few days, I'm already seeing smoother skin so I am anxious to see the full results after one month.]

Besides a cream like Shrinking Beauty, what else can women do to look their best all summer?
“Anything that is going to help smooth out and hydrate certainly will give the appearance of firmer, more tone-looking skin. So use a scrub and an alpha-hydroxy acid based moisturizer. It’s going to make the skin look healthier, smoother and give the illusion that it’s in better shape than maybe it is. Pilates is actually an incredible way to help firm and tone the muscles and the skin, and it’s certainly something you want to consider adding into your exercise routine.”

If someone is really struggling with cellulite and feel like they’ve tried everything, what is the next step for them?   
“Well, it’s part of the aging process, and you can’t stop aging, but you can slow it down; you can improve what damage has happened, but it’s an ongoing thing. So you do need to continue a regimen, whatever you’re doing that’s working. Or you could explore in-office treatment options, like a cool sculpting procedure that’s freezing the fat. So it’s almost a little lypo/tightening of the skin. You can try the endermologie, and I’m talking about in-office level endermologie, not someone massaging you with some sort of little roller-ball. Those are the two big things that can be done.”

Favorite Find Friday: Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil

Written on July 26, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Thanks to my extremely temperamental skin (seriously, it has a mind of its own), I have become somewhat of a skincare product fiend. If something promises a glowing, clear complexion, it’s safe to say that I’ve slathered it on my face. Recently I wanted to try something new, so I reached for Nude Skincare ProGenius Treatment Oil ($78, sephora.com), and I wasn’t disappointed. Loaded with 10 precious plant oils and rich in Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9, this oil reduces redness, adds intense hydration, repairs damage and creates a veil of protection to intensely nourish my problematic skin. While the word “oil” might send those with acne-prone skin running, this product has actually helped clear existing breakouts and prevent others from forming. Best of all, it is completely natural and chemical-free, which makes it perfect for my sensitive skin. I apply two to three drops, warm it between my fingertips and lightly pat it onto my face before bed, and I awake with clear, baby-soft skin. I think I may be packing up my skincare arsenal and sticking with this little power product—I’m sold!

 

—Karee Hackel, beauty intern